Updated: Oct 2, 2020
Every LEO has a Phone in their Pocket which Takes Pictures and Records Video. Every Shift has Memorable Incidents of Officers Doing Good. LEOs need to leverage each of these positive community interactions and show the citizens they serve what they are doing every day. These same positive messages will enhance command staff relationships with city/county administrations as well.
Like him or not, President Trump paved the way in creating his own media, and taking his communications directly to citizens. Every Agency has the means to do the same thing on a smaller local scale with a Website, Facebook and Twitter. Combine them all and Promote your officers' actions and agency brand at Every Opportunity. Use the same tactics and platform to delivery negative news, accurately and rapidly. Leonard Adams does an outstanding job in the article outlining how every officer can play a key role in using existing tools to show the citizens we serve that we are decent people doing an honorable job under immensely difficult circumstances. Most importantly, he talks about how LE no longer needs news media reporters to deliver news. (CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE)
Updated: Oct 2, 2020
This article in POLICE MAGAZINE basically says newspaper, TV and radio reporters are the key to law enforcement agencies building positive reputations with the public they protect. It says law enforcement leaders should focus on helping (appeasing) reporters if they want to effectively communicate with the public they serve. I strongly disagree.
This is so not true in the age of citizens with phone cameras and access to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media. At any major incident bystanders can broadcast the incident live, with their own commentary before a newspaper reporter or TV journalist even knows the incident is occurring. Just look at how many national and local news organizations obtain their stories from someone who captured the incident on their cell phone. Contrary to this article, newspaper, TV and radio media reporters are NOT the key to building positive agency reputations, if anything they are a gauntlet to positive LEO/citizen relationships. Reporters today are in competition to be first and the most sensational with a story. And, many reporters may accidentally, or intentionally, leave out information and/or provide inaccurate information. Some media also have an inherent anti-police bias which is reflected in negative reporting on police actions.
Law enforcement agencies which create their own media with a well designed web site, Twitter page and Facebook page, can more accurately and rapidly deliver unfiltered news to the citizens they protect. They can also open ongoing two-way dialog with citizens. The results include increased transparency, higher level of public trust and a more positive brand reputation. This kind of open-channel relationship makes it easier for a law enforcement agency to communicate negative incidents when they occur, and the will occur regardless if it is a small or large agency. (CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE)
Great article. Also make sure you have your own video of the incident from at least two angles (body cams, dash cams and officer cell phones). And -- when possible be the first to post your videos of the incident in their entirety on the agency web site and social media pages. By posting the entire videos first you destroy the credibility of any partial or selectively edited video of the same incident posted by the media/citizens designed to reflect negatively on the agency/officers. (CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY)